As I reported yesterday, law-abiding citizens are now being arrested in their homes with ankle monitors to prevent them from leaving in some parts of the U.S., if one of the family members tests positive for COVID. See:
Today, FiercePharma is reporting that Uber is now participating with health authorities to help with contact tracing. So if you thought that you could avoid being arrested in your own home by simply refusing to get a COVID test from among the more than 100 fast-tracked inaccurate COVID tests currently on the market, think again.
Uber is providing their contact tracing services for free, not to you their customers, but to local health authorities. That means every time you use the popular ride-share service, they can track you to see if you have been in contact with any COVID positive people, including, apparently, previous riders in their drivers’ cars which you would not even know about, and then turn your information into the health authorities.
Ridesharing giant Uber has rolled out a service to give public health officials quick access to user data to track coronavirus cases, Reuters reported Monday.
The contact tracing service will be provided for free, and is reportedly being introduced to public health officials in all countries where Uber operates, according to Reuters. Company officials told Reuters information of either a driver or passenger can be accessed in a few hours.
The service provides health departments with data about who used Uber’s services and when and allows health agencies to urge affected drivers and users to quarantine, company officials told reporters.
Uber has a protocol in place that it can disclose user information to public health agencies in an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury.
Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. (Source.)
This apparently applies to food delivery apps as well.
As cities around the U.S. have begun requiring restaurants to take down diners’ contact information for contact tracing, tech-engabled restaurant reservation apps such as Tock have reportedly also been tapped to help with contact tracing.
Ride-hailing data could play an important role in that effort, health officials and experts said, because it identifies a larger set of people outside the direct social circle of an infected individual, according to the Reuters article.
In January, Uber executives flew to Los Angeles to meet with the local health department and CDC officials to discuss how Uber’s data could best be used, Uber’s chief of global law enforcement Mike Sullivan told Reuters. Since the onset of the pandemic in the U.S., Uber has received approximately 560 coronavirus-related requests from public health officials across 29 countries, most of which were processed by the company within two hours, company officials told Reuters.
If you don’t want to risk a knock at your door by health authorities and law enforcement forcing you to get a COVID test, the best option you have right now is to NOT carry around a cell phone, or if you do, keep it shut off or on “airplane mode.”
Protect Your Privacy with a Phone Shield Faraday Bag
Start using cash for transactions (while you still can) instead of credit cards, as a record of a credit card purchase at a certain time in a certain location, could also identify you as being in contact with the COVID positive individual.
Welcome to the “new normal.” Civil liberties are gone, and things like HIPAA privacy laws no longer apply in this perpetual state of emergency over THE VIRUS.
Source: Health Impact News
Brian Shilavy is the Editor of Health Impact News.
Image Source: Chicago Tribune
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